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The elusive Stratcom boss Bob Penner: his company is conducting a Vision push poll

Want to know what Vision's platform promises will be this fall? You were betting it would be more green than Kermit the Frog dancing in a cabbage leaf beside Julie Andrews during the opening of The Sound of Music. But you'd only be partly correct. The fact is Vision is still scrambling to find those populist issues that will give them a strong showing at the polls in November.

Enter Bob Penner and Strategic Communications. "Stratcom" as it is known was created with the help of Joel Solomon's Renewal Partners company, which itself was begun with the help of a woman with 'significant resources' living on Cortes Island, Ms. Carol Newell. According to records on the City of Vancouver website, Stratcom have donated $105,321 since 2007 to Vision Vancouver, which put them #3 overall in B.C. when it came to election donations (2nd to Solomon's Renewal).

Earlier this year Stratcom raised some eyebrows by conducting a another push poll in the West End likely aimed at squashing opposition to the STIR project, and asked those they called whether they were LGBTQ or straight. What's a "push poll," you ask? It's a discredited practice of both polling for public opinion, but also trying to persuade the person on the other end of the phone line through a series of leading questions and remarks.

CityCaucus.com has received a copy of a transcription of just one of these recently conducted Stratcom phone polls. The wording of the questions is all approximate and some of the opening questions were missed. The bullets at the end are trial balloon platform ideas that Vision clearly wants to campaign on beginning next month.

Perhaps the most amusing fact of the questions is how they bedevil Suzanne Anton (SA) while praising Gregor Robertson (GR) & Vision Vancouver (VV). The gist of this is "Suzanne is a bad and horrible person, while Gregor walks on water – will you vote for Suzanne or Gregor?"

In terms of new ideas, looks like they're stuck on tearing down the viaducts, hiring more cops (COPE supporters might take issue with that one) and raising taxes two per cent annually. If you ask me Vision appear to be scraping the bottom of the ideas barrel. Here now is Stratcom's push poll...


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